Brain Post: What is a Super Moon?

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what is a super moon

Tonight, Earth will experience a Super Moon.

What is a Super Moon?  In reality, it’s just a slightly larger than normal full moon.  But there is an interesting concept behind it:

As the moon circles the Earth, it does so in an ellipse that is sometimes closer, sometimes further from the Earth than its average distance from Earth.

what is a super moon

When the moon is closest to Earth, this is called the Perigee.  If the perigee happens at the same time as the full moon, this is what we call the Super Moon.  A Super Moon can be 13% bigger than a full moon at Apogee (when the moon if furthest from the Earth) and 30% brighter.

what is a super moon


– Average distance from Earth = 238,855 miles

– Closest to Earth = Perigee = 225,623 miles

super moon explained

– Furthest from Earth = Apogee = 252,088 miles

– The moon gets about 2 inches further from Earth every year

Super Moon?
Super Moon?

If you miss the Super Moon tonight, don’t feel too bad, there is another on happening next month on July 22nd.  It’ll be slightly smaller, but pretty much just as big.  This is a good thing as many of us here in Northern California will be missing the Super Moon tonight due to a rare summer storm.

Super Moon
Super Moon

Watch this video with Neil deGrasse Tyson.  He is not fired up about a Super Moons and lets us know that full moons don’t effect the tide anymore than any other phase of the moon.

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